European SMEs in the Cloud
In Europe, over 8,000 start-up companies participate in BizSpark program, many of them focused on cloud computing as the platform to build innovative services.
SMEs are the engine of growth in Europe. SMEs represent more than 99% of all businesses and employ more than 90 million people in Europe.
| Enabling technology
Cloud computing enables SMEs to grow by lowering costs and increasing productivity and market opportunities.
- Cloud computing is up to 40 times more cost-effective for a SME, compared to the alternative of running its own IT system1
- One study estimates that adoption of cloud computing solutions could create 100,000+ new SMEs in Europe2
Cloud computing will have pervasive benefits throughout the economy, with particularly big advantages for small businesses. SMEs can now exploit the economies of scale offered by cloud computing, giving them affordable access to sophisticated computing resources previously available only to large companies. Both as users and as developers of technology, SMEs will drive adoption and innovation of cloud services, which will in turn stimulate further evolution of the industry and growth of the European economy.
As technology developers, SMEs can expand their business rapidly, enter new markets, and offer innovative solutions with less risk and more potential returns.
A healthy ecosystem
European SMEs take advantage of cloud computing while they contribute to the growth of the industry and the economy. They benefit from the large investments made by others in massive data centres, broadband telecommunications infrastructure, and sophisticated platform software.
The larger companies benefit as SMEs create new services, reach wider markets, and stimulate growth. All elements of this inter-linked ICT industry rely on the health and performance of each other in order to grow the overall economic pie. For these reasons, Microsoft actively promotes the business activity of both start-up companies and more established SMEs.
“Cloud Computing is one of the key enabling information technologies that can help European businesses – especially SMEs – to drastically reduce IT costs, help governments supply services at a lower cost to citizens and make computing much more energy efficient.“
European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda
More and more European SMEs are embracing cloud computing. Numerous case studies are documented on www.microsoft.eu, providing direct evidence of the types of solutions that small businesses are creating for the European market using cloud platforms. Many of the start-up companies featured on “BizSpark Startup of the Day” are European companies betting their future on the cloud.
In terms of ensuring the right policy environment to stimulate opportunities for small businesses in the cloud computing industry, the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners has published a paper entitled “European SMEs Seize the Cloud”, outlining the government actions that they believe are most constructive. IAMCP makes several suggestions relating to cross-border transactions involving data in a Digital Single Market, and enhancing the trustworthiness, privacy and efficiency of such transactions in ways that are vital to boost economic activity by SMEs.
More about Bizpark
Microsoft BizSpark is a global Microsoft program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business.
1 ‘The Economics of the Cloud for the Public Sector by Harms and Yamartino http://www.microsoft.eu/Cloudeconomics.aspx
2 ‘The Economics of Cloud computing’ by Prof. Etro, uploaded on http://www.microsoft.eu